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How did this happen!?

When I checked onto wordpress I got an unexpected notification. 600 followers now follow my blog. Honestly how is this even possible. When I first started my blog I though nobody would ever even give it a second glance never mind follow it. I’ve always thought my blog wouldn’t amount to anything. I’m actually quite proud of my blog. I’ve interacted with some amazing bloggers on here and discovered some amazing bloggers. (I may do a blog appreciation post if people would read it?)

Again I like to thank you all. I never thought anyone would read my blog never mind follow it.

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The Lights of Time by Paul Ian Cross

Well I’m finally out of my reading slump and its all because of this book. I read this book over the weekend and could never put down. When I did eventually put it down I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The whole concept is amazing. It did remind me a lot about time cop (yes the Van Damme film) Engella is a young woman travelling through time running from a group of hunters and trying to find her family who she hasn’t seen for god knows how many years.

Right come on lets get on with the review or we will  be here all day. As I said the story is about Engella who has a nifty wristband that lets her travel through time. Shes on a mission to find her parents while trying to escape from a group of hunters. The hunters are after her as she has something that they need. (im saying nothing more about that as I dont want to spoil the story) Engella has been to some very interesting places and times in the past and the future.

 

The book does offer quite a few different views points. Especially with the different characters and the different times they were in. I thought it may of confused the reader.  I also thought this might struggle to tie in the whole book together but Paul didnt dissapoint. This book tied in really well leaving me literally hanging on edge wanting to read the second book.

If you like a futuristic science fiction read then this is the book for you to add to your collection (and come on the cover is ridiculously awesome)

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Mental health is like a rollercoaster

Where do you with a post like this. Literally the past few months my mental health has been like a rollercoaster. It has been horrible. Times I’ve been thinking what the actual fuck is going on in my head. People shouldn’t have to suffer like this. I wouldn’t want anyone to go through this. I wish sometimes there was an off button. I’ve been feeling really tired lately but think that’s due to my brain going into overdrive when Im trying to fall asleep. It even got to the point where I stopped reading books. Which was a really good escape for me to take my mind of things and switch off. Thankfully Im back reading and forgot how much I missed it (but that’s another story) I have noticed lately that my mood swings have been quite erratic. I’ve either been really hyper or in a low mood with myself without even realising. My partner knows the signs if Im struggling. she seems to know the right questions and brings me round. but due to my stubbornness I can be in a rut for while. I think the one I’ve just come out of has been the longest one yet. I always seem to be fine on the outside which means Im good at masking it. I always think that if i show my feelings especially at work or with friends and even other family members i don’t think they would ever judge me. it’s just that Im not one for expressing myself outright especially when Im face to face with someone. my partner is the only one i feel comfortable enough around to talk about it and that’s when she’s nagged me enough for me to talk to her about it. I’m not saying mine is worse than anyone elses. We all deal with this differently. If you’re going through something like this then open up. I know its hard but using my blog to express myself a bit really off loads a lot of weight that I feel like ive been carrying. I feel relieved after ive written it down and if it helps some one then its brilliant. If anyone has any questions please ask. Also speak up about it help yourself, help someone. Thats me signing off from this one. I feel like I’ve written enough and feel better for it. Thank you for your time and reading this.

Silence in the shadows

CLARE’S KNUCKLES WERE WHITE where she clutched the map. She didn’t need it— wouldn’t need it for more than an hour, until the road deposited them back into the fields on the other side of the mountain— but she held on to it like a lifeline.
Glass light casings glittered across the ceiling, but the tunnel’s power was gone and the arched passageway was desperately black. The sunlight flowing through the entrance faded within seconds, until their only illumination came from the headlights forming two shimmering circles ahead of them.
Clare didn’t like it. The high beams didn’t reach as far as she thought they should have. They revealed patches of the road, perfectly straight and seemingly endless. Its diffusion brushed across the ceiling, enough to flash off anything reflective and tease the shadows in between. But at the speed Dorran was driving, the lights weren’t reaching far enough to show any obstacles and still leave enough time to brake.
Please, please, let the tunnel be empty.
Clare knew hope was thin. The tunnel’s perfect darkness and moist chill would make it an ideal home for the hollows— even more so than the forest. But the lights skimmed across foot after foot of ground, and still, they were undisturbed.
The bus began to slow. Clare finally tore her eyes off the road to glance at Dorran. His brows were low, casting heavy shadows across his eyes.
“What’s wrong?” Clare whispered, even though there was no risk her voice would attract attention when the engine would accomplish the job first.
“They are not following us any longer.”
Clare twisted to see the side mirror. When Dorran tapped the breaks, red light flowed across the tunnel behind them. It was empty.
Clare’s stomach turned. She faced the path ahead again, trying to ignore the prickles growing across her arms. “You weren’t driving fast enough to lose them, were you?”
“No. They could keep up.” He flexed his fingers on the wheel. “They followed us into the tunnel for a while. Then they stopped, almost as though they had been spooked and turned away.” What could spook a hollow?
She could see the same anxiety reflected in Dorran’s face. The car continued to coast forward at less than half its previous speed, and he kept his attention fastened on the road. “What do you think? Drive cautiously or as quickly as we can?”
Not knowing what might be in the tunnel made the question
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impossible. Driving slowly would allow them to be followed, to be anticipated, or to be ambushed. But driving quickly could come to a sudden and unpleasant end if they encountered a blockage.
“Faster than this,” Clare finally decided. “But…not too fast.”
Dorran gave a short nod and the bus sped up. Their headlights flashed over rock walls, the old, unmaintained white lines painted across the road, and the dead lights set into the ceiling. Clare craned her neck as they passed an unusual shape. It looked as though one of the lights had been torn out of its socket and was allowed to dangle from two cables. The shape passed them so quickly that she couldn’t get a good look at it.
Something had left score marks on the walls, she thought. The stone was rough to begin with, which disguised the marring. But the tunnel was old—at least for ty years based on the style of the lights—and v ery rarely maintained. The old rock on the walls had been blackened by the soot left from thousands of vehicles. Long gashes cut through the decades of grime, leaving marks of lighter gray decorating the walls.
Then something small appeared on the ground ahead. At first glance, Clare thought it was a stray rock. It was only when it crunched under their wheels that Clare realized she’d been looking at half of a skull.
“Slow down,” she whispered.
The vehicle’s speed reduced, and Clare saw they were surrounded by bone fragments.
The off- white shapes littered the floor, sometimes gathering
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at the tunnel’s edges like leaves. None of the bones were intact. They had all been broken into fragments, the marrow inside sucked out. She didn’t think the bones belonged to humans. Or, at least, they hadn’t been human when they died.
Inside, the bus was so quiet that Clare could hear her own heartbeat. Dorran leaned across the wheel, his breathing shallow as he tried to protect them against a threat they didn’t yet understand.
Then a pole-like shape loomed in the shado ws ahead. Impossibly tall and thin, it stretched from the ground toward the ceiling. Clare looked for any semblance of life—ey es, a mouth, limbs, anything—but couldn ’t find it. The shape was gray and curved gradually, segmented in two places. It looked more like a streetlamp than a hollow.
Dorran hit the brakes, pulling the bus to a shuddering halt.
The shape’s base lifted off the floor, seeming to hover as it drifted toward them, then stabbed back down to land on the road. Its base was pointed and looked sharp.
It’s a leg. Clare’s heart skipped. She followed the shape up to where its top nearly vanished among the shadows of the ceiling—to wher e it merged with a body.
Five more legs descended from the malformed creature. Two of them glided forward, stabbing into the road, bringing the whole being into terrible relief. Legs bent as the body descended. Two heads gaped at them out of the distorted torso: one near where the shoulder should be, the other in the center of its chest.
The eyes were witless, but the jaws stretched as it moved more
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of its impossibly long, sticklike legs to pace toward them. It was immense. The tunnel was wide enough for two lanes and high enough to carry trucks, and the hollow filled the entire space.
Dorran barked an involuntary noise, something between revulsion and fear. Color had drained from his face as his wide eyes stared up at the creature.
It raised one of its six legs. The tip looked horribly sharp. Clare had a sudden image of it piercing through the roof of their bus, stabbing into them, impaling them. The metal structure was sturdy enough that the regular hollows couldn’t break inside, but something told her the enormous creature could cut through the metal like a can opener. She screamed, “Drive!”
Clare only wanted to be away from the many-legged behe moth, and as far as her brain was concerned, driving faster would get them away from it. She had no time to reconsider the instruction or think about the fact that the creature blocked the road because Dorran obeyed as soon as the word left her. The engine roared and the bus surged forward, plowing them toward the legs with reckless abandon.
He really shouldn’t trust me so much.
The inane thought came out of nowhere, and through the haze of panic, Clare had the impulse to laugh. Instead, she reached her arms forward and planted them into the dash in an effort to brace herself.
The legs blocked the road, as thick as young trees. Clare knew they had to be made of bone, though. And bone could be fragile if you hit it hard enough.
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The raised leg aimed toward them and began to descend. The bus lurched as Dorran threw the wheel. Rubber screeched as they spun, and the limb stabbed into the place they would have been. A small crater appeared in the concrete as the sharpened tip impacted it.
Dorran swiveled the wheel back in the other direction, checking the bus before it could tip over. They were heading straight for one of the legs. There was no time to correct. Clare put her head down and squeezed her eyes closed. The seat belt snapped hard into her chest as the impact threw her forward. A horrible cracking sound rattled around them. She saw the leg bend across the bus’s front, the bones splintering like a snapped branch, their shards poking through a thin layer of gray skin.
Then the leg lifted away, and they were charging forward, past the monster. Clare twisted to see behind them. In the faint, red glow of their brake lights, she watched the creature topple. It seemed to move in slow motion, each of the six legs scraping off the floor as its center of gravity dragged it down. Screams, wrenched out of two inhuman mouths, echoed through the tunnel as the body hit the ground. Clare’s last glimpse was of the sharpened leg tips twitching as they tried to right the body again.
Dorran didn’t make any sound. He sat back in his seat, eyes wide and unblinking, perspiration shining on his face as the speedometer rose dangerously high. The bus rattled around them. Part of Clare wanted him to slow down. Another part wanted him to go even faster. Neither thought could be expressed. She
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had no breath left for anything except feeding oxygen into her racing heart.
Then light appeared ahead of them. The arch-like glow was one of the sweetest things Clare had ever seen.
“Slow,” Clare choked out, grabbing Dorran’s arm. He tapped the brake, and the dangerous trajectory eased off as they neared the tunnel’s end. They were just in time. The road outside the tunnel curved sharply to the right, and Dorran had to slow to a crawl to handle the bend.
Then they were descending the mountain, once again surrounded by trees and light. The tunnel felt like a feverish nightmare, as though Clare had lost consciousness for twenty minutes before opening her eyes again. As though it couldn’t possibly have been real.
But the bus’s front held a new, deep dent. Their memento from the creature’s spiderlike leg.
Dorran and Clare didn’t speak as they descended the mountain. Dorran’s pulse jumped in his throat, and Clare let him focus on navigating the twisting roads. There was no chance to stop. Hollows had heard them coming and appeared through the trees. Soon, they had a new collection of monsters darting through the shadows behind them, trying to catch up to the bus. Dorran kept the pace aggressive. Within another fifteen minutes, the paths eased out into the foothills and the trees cleared. Most of the hollows gave up as they lost their cover. The few persistent ones were soon lost as the open road allowed more speed. Dorran drove until they reached a gentle hill with
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views of the land around them, then he pulled onto the side of the road and parked the bus.
He turned to her and ran a hand over her neck. “Are you all right?”
“Yeah, I’m good.” Her voice shook despite her best efforts.
Dorran exhaled, his shoulders dropping. “Stay here and keep warm. I’ll check there isn’t any damage to the engine.”
He brushed past her, opening the door, and a gust of cold air coiled over Clare. She shivered, then watched through the cracked front window as Dorran wrenched the hood up. He wasn’t dressed for the cold; he only wore a shirt and light coat.
Clare retreated deeper into the bus, looking through the clothing stored in the baskets above the seats. She found two jackets and two scarves and swaddled one set around herself before opening the door and leaping out.
Dorran lifted his head as Clare approached, and smiled at the sight of the jacket. “Ah. Thank you.”
She helped him pull the coat on, then tugged on the collar until he bent and let her wrap the scarf around his neck. “How’s it looking?”
“Not too bad, considering. It’s a hardy beast.”
Clare hung to his side as she watched him feel around the engine. The minibus had hit trees, been through water, and now, survived impact with the creature in the tunnel. The metal front had been twisted so badly that the hood didn’t shut properly. She silently thanked the bus for holding on for so long.
Dorran’s long fingers felt across the metal, searching for leaks or damage. He was moving slowly and his eyes seemed distant.
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“Are you all right?” Clare asked.
“Yes. Of course.” He shot her a quick smile.
Clare knew him too well to think it was genuine. “You listened to me when I told you to drive,” she said.
His glance seemed surprised. “Of course I did. I trust you.”
“You shouldn’t have. It was terrible advice. We got lucky, and that’s the only reason we’re still alive.” The laughter that had threatened her in the tunnel suddenly poured out, gasping and thin. Clare clamped her lips shut to cut it off early.
Dorran bent forward as he searched her face. “I will always trust your advice. It has saved us more often than I can remember. You have good instincts.”
“Next time my instincts tell us to drive toward a living nightmare, feel free to ignore me.”
He laughed, and after a second, Clare joined in. The ache in her chest lessened. Icy wind whistled across them, pulling on their coats and tangling Clare’s hair, as Dorran continued working on the engine.
Then Dorran voiced the question they were both thinking. “What was that?”
“It was a hollow,” Clare said. “It had to be. But…the others all looked at least vaguely human. You could see traces of what they used to be. But that…”
She pictured the malformed torso growing two heads, the six enormous legs that held it suspended in the air.
“The others were afraid of it,” Dorran said. “That was why they wouldn’t follow us into the tunnel.”
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“There were bones everywhere. Mostly hollow bones, I think. It was eating them. That’s something other hollows don’t do either.” Clare shook her head. “I mean, they will, sometimes, if they’re trapped in an enclosed place like a room or a car. In the wild, though, they mostly just ignore each other. But that thing…”
“It almost seemed to be waiting for prey.”
Clare nodded. She could picture it, lurking in the dark, suspended on those impossibly long legs as it waited for hollows to enter its domain. The bones had all been picked over dozens of times before the fragments were finally discarded.
In a world that felt miles from rational, Clare hadn’t realized how much she relied on rationality to cope. She knew the hollows’ rules. She knew what they looked like and what they were capable of. Now, they had encountered something that ignored all established principles, and Clare was back to feeling as helpless and vulnerable as she had been on the day she had discovered the world had ended.
“This is okay,” Dorran said, shutting the hood as securely as the twisted metal would allow. He took Clare’s hand, infusing some confidence into his voice. “We’ll be fine.”
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Whispers in the mist blog tour

What we fear the most

Out of every fantastical horror creation, every eldritch monster and sharp-toothed beast, there’s one thing that reliably scares us the most.

Humans.

If that sounds trite, don’t worry. I’m not approaching this from a “humans are the greatest predator” angle.

But consider a scenario: you’re walking home at night. Ahead, barely illuminated by the streetlamp, stands a man. He wears plain clothes. His hands hang at his sides. He’s facing you—staring at you—and as you move closer, you realise he isn’t blinking. His expression is blank, emotionless. He just stares, and stares, and stares, even when you back away.

At first, you might be tempted to say the shadowed night-time setting creates the fear. But it doesn’t—not entirely. Place that same man into a brightly lit day, even surrounded by crowds of people, and, as long as he stares at you, he still has the power to frighten you.

Why?

We, regular people, have developed a complex system of body language and behaviour that is universally obeyed. We smile to show goodwill. We shake hands when one is offered to us (even if we don’t want to). We maintain eye contact… but not too much eye contact.

Some of this body language is conscious, but a lot of it happens on the subliminal—both receiving and giving. If a smile ends a second too soon or if a laugh is stilted, we receive the message that the other party wants to end the conversation. Blinking too often sends a message of anxiety. How we angle our body, how we breathe, our voice’s pitch: together, it forms a second language—one that’s not audible but speaks to the subconscious and is significant in forming others’ opinion of us.

We’re good at this second language. We’ve had a lifetime of practice.

And that’s why that strange man, standing on a dark street, can scare us. He’s not speaking our second language, the language everyone, even children, have learned. The language that is so deeply engrained within us that it takes conscious effort—or immense trauma—to override.

Our second language makes us predictable. Put out a hand and it will be shaken. Smile and receive a smile in return. We know the rules.

But this man? He’s not playing our game. The rules don’t apply. And that makes him capable of anything.

Get your hands on this book asap

Secrets in the Dark

Winterbourne Hall is not safe. Even as Clare and Dorran scramble to secure the ancient building against ravenous hollow ones, they face something far worse: Clare’s sister has made contact, but she’s trapped, and her oxygen is running out.

Hundreds of miles separate Clare from Beth. The land between them is infested with monsters, and the roads are a maze of dead ends. Clare has to choose between making a journey she knows she might not survive, or staying safe in Winterbourne and listening as her sister slowly suffocates.

At least, whatever her choice, she’ll have Dorran by her side. And yet there are eyes in the dark. There are whispers in the mist. There is danger lurking in the snow, and one false step could end it all…

Review Pending.

Star Child the age of Akra #repost

 

 

 

Mai is a remarkable child that has been sent on a quest by her elders to the Valley of a thousand thoughts. To hone her skills as a thought banker. So she can master the thought of others.

Mai is joined by her over protective brother who will be her chaperone and protector throughout her quest. Also with her little stowaway her little lizard Barka (who is an amazing little character to be involved in the book)

Mai is one tough courageous and feisty little lady. She takes control of any situation even though she is the youngest character in the book. Every situation they seem to face themselves in you know that Mai has got in control and will do everything in her power to get through it.

Now enough about Mai even though I could talk about her for ages. We should really talk about the star child himself. Akra appears out of no where and starts off a chain of events that Long immediately becomes suspicious of. Akra has multiple powers but can’t seem to have a control over them.

Akra joins Mai and Long on their quest to the Thousand Valleys find some answers of his own. On their journey Akra notices that there is something different about Mai but he can’t seem to put his finger on it.

 

The character development has been written really well, you immediately get engrossed in each of the characters development. That you want to know more about them. You actually feel you are there with these characters. I was so engrossed in this book that I finished it the same day I started reading it. It’s definitely a real page turner. You definitely get involved with the characters. Mai you’d want as a little sister (she reminds me of Nona Grey in Red Sister). Long is the annoying big brother (as we all are) I’m still unsure about Akra. I will have to read the second book to see how his character develops.

The story did have a last air bender feel to it. I was getting this vibe a lot through out the book. Don’t get me wrong I really enjoy the last air bender (maybe not the film)

I’d give this book a solid 4/5

 

 

Lost Frequencies: The Soul Prophecies also Q&A with the author #repost

lost freq

 

 

 

I’d like to thank Bridie at Outlet Publishing for reaching out and sending me this book. Also to Caitlin Lynagh for answering my questions.

Q&A first.

When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?

It was just before I went off to university to study Biology & Geology. I was one of those students who didn’t really know what they wanted to do with their lives and all the academic choices just didn’t seem to inspire me. I wrote as a hobby from the age of thirteen and one day, not long after my seventeenth birthday, I sat down and realised that this was it, writing was what I wanted to do.

How long does it take you to write a book?

Six to twelve months to write the first draft.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

Unorganised chaos.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m not sure that this is a writing quirk, but I do play out parts of my stories like mini movies in my head before trying to write them.

How do books get published?

Lots of hard work, determination – and luck! It helps to have a great editor and agent. The process is slow and that’s often hard to get your head around. The real work begins after the first draft is written.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

From many different things; little pieces of ideas from books, movies, art, people I see in the street, conversations, absolutely everything.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?

I started writing my first book, Anomaly, when I was eighteen. It was published three years later in 2016.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I like to read, craft (a lot!) and paint.

What does your family think of your writing?

They think I’m mad, but they have come to accept my life choices.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

Writing a good book is one of the most difficult things a human can do.

How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?

I have written four books, and my favourite is my most recent book, Quantum Messenger. It hasn’t been published yet but it will be published next year.

Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?

Read a lot of books and keep reading! You pick up the most valuable knowledge subconsciously.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

I’ve had some lovely reviews from happy readers who have contacted me on social media. It’s good inspiration and motivation.

Do you like to create books for adults?

Yes, I hope that my books can be enjoyed by young adults and adults alike; Lost Frequencies and Quantum Messenger in particular.

What do you think makes a good story?

A story that is inventive in its world and characters. A good story surprises me, but the surprises have to be believable too.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

According to my mother I wanted to be a dentist. I think that had more to do with the fact that they used to give me stickers after my appointment than any real desire to look in people’s mouths.

Now onto the review. I did receive a free copy of the book for an honest review. So here it is.

You are being watched. All your pathways have already been seen.

During a salvage hunt in the desolate wastelands of Planet Iyeeka, a strange naked woman is discovered inside a metal machine. No one has lived in the area for decades.

Ten wise Iyeekens are drawn to the woman through their dreams and eventually follow her, along with the three who found her, through their war-torn land in search of truth. They believe she is the key to saving their dying planet. She has knowledge even she doesn’t understand. Yet.

Who are these aliens she so vividly remembers? What is the significance of this planet Earth and its inhabitants? And why is her knowledge essential in saving their world?

Now if this synopsis doesnt get your mind into to over drive then you best of stop reading and not even leaving a like for my post (I’m only joking. Please leave a like 🤣)

Ehi is found by a group of merchants on the look out for any materials so they can survive in this desolate baron land where nothing should be able to survive. Except Ehi. Who wakes up confused and doesn’t know what is going on or where she is.

I literally could not put this book down. Even when I wasn’t reading the book it was always in the back of my mind how Ehi was going to get passed the tough situation she has found herself into.

The character development is written really well and you start to develop an akin to the characters. The world building is also really well written. Caitlin has done really well in both these aspects to immerse the reader into the world she has so brilliantly created. To the point where you forget your environment your in and you end up hours later with all the pages turning seemingly.

If you are a Sci-Fi Fantasy nut like me then you will really enjoy this book. If you aren’t then I couldn’t recommend this book to get you started.

Newbie Blogger #Repost#

As a newbie blogger I’m doing this as I love talking books but have nobody else to talk to about them. I’m on here to connect with like minded people and discuss new books and read reviews on books that I wouldn’t normally read. Means by book shelf is going to be filling up quickly. I usually find books online but love finding them on a market stalls. I normally go for a book that’s got a good cover or name then read the back and if like it then I’m buying.

I wrote this over a year ago and my how much has changed in that time. I’ve read a lot of different books that i’d never thought of reading. My book collection has grown quite a bit within the year that I’ve been blogging. I have interacted with some amazing people. Whether it be on here or Twitter (think I’m slightly addicted to twitter 🤣)

Think I’m definitely going to stick around as I really do love the blogging community (that’s if you will have me) although I don’t blog as much as I did. I’m still creeping around looking through peoples blogs and stalking you all on Twitter 🤣

The Bone Shard Daughter

Well where do I start with this review. You all have probably read the hype for this book. And let me tell you know that the hype is real with this book. The fact that it is a debut from the author kind of makes it a bit more special. I was lucky enough to receive the ARC and the hardback so makes it a good excuse to read it twice. Which I may have to. Now sorry for the rambling. Suppose I might as well get on with my review. Since you’re not here to see my pretty face.

The constructs are animals which can be used for a variety of things. The bone shards are used on these animals which have written commands on them. They have to do whatever is ever written on them. And only the emporer has the ability todo this. So he has spies and other constructs all over his empire to keep eyes on things.

Well here we are The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart is something not short of brilliance. This book is nothing short of masterful. What Andrea has done for her debut book is amazing. I cannot wait for the second book already to see how the series continues. Yes this book is unreal. I’m running out of words that describe this book.

The book starts off with Lin who is the emperors daughter which you may think she was lucky but her father was a bit of a sod to be honest. The emporer seems to be abusing his bone shard magic which Lin has noticed and isnt happy about it. Every year they have a celebration where children of age have there shards removed without their permission. (basically it is a piece of bone behind the ear that gets removed and its magical in away)

Lin has got her hands full trying to get certain keys of her father to unlock certain doors in the palace. Within these rooms are things that she would remember when she gets her memories back. For some reason Lin only remembers certain parts of her life. SO she goes on a quest/mission to get into as many rooms as she can with keys from her father or stealing them from her father.

The book has many characters especially written from a POV perspective. And the best character in the book is Jovi and his animal side kick Memphi whose life he saved. Jovi is a smuggler at his finest and is the best at what he does. Jovi is visiting an island where the celebration of the shard is happening. Jovi is asked to take a boy away from what is about to happen. Jovi doesnt want to smuggle children from island to island but to some unforseen circumstances to the island him and the boy make a hasty retreat on his boat and see’s what seems to be a kitten type animal in some distress and helps him. Memphi and Jovi’s relationship is amazing. Jovi doesnt realise that when he is with Memphi he starts to develop some sort of magical powers especially his strength. I cannot wait to see what is in store for these guys.

Interpreter from Java book extract

THE INTERPRETER FROM JAVA

At the pictures

Out of the blue – I must’ve been about eighteen – you decided to take me out one night. A rare occurrence. Granted, it had been five years since we’d lived in the same house, since Child Services had taken me from you at the age of thirteen and – in your words – ‘deported’ me to the children’s home. Dutch grub was all they fed us there, but when it came time to leave, the authorities saw fit to lodge me and my brother Phil with a family steeped in the ways of the Indies. Our landlady swanned around as if the sun had never set on the empire. What the hell were Child Services playing at? Five years of knuckling under to a Dutch regime only to be handed over to a family stuck in the colonial past.

It was the same old battle cry every time you visited us at the children’s home. You insisted you wanted your kids back, that you were fighting one court case after another, that we were ‘your blood’, that we belonged with you… there was no end to it. Phil tried to warn me, but I ignored his brotherly advice. I fled our stifling Indo lodgings and headed straight for the place you told me I belonged. A tram to The Hague, a bus from Staatsspoor station via Voorburg and Leidschendam to a brand-new housing scheme in Voorschoten, where I stood and rang your bell in a bleak and spotless doorway less than a mile from my old children’s home. You opened the door with an unforgettable welcome:

Why did you forsake me?

Jesus calling out to God the Father. Back then you were sleeping with the Bible under your pillow, you crazy bastard. The worst of it was, I honestly believed I had forsaken you. My photo pressed between the pages of your Bible – what was that about? Was I a bookmark in place of your dagger? You didn’t think I’d believe you were praying for me, did you? Later I became convinced you stuck pins in that photo. I told that to two girlfriends of mine after I fled your home once and for all, and it made them cry. They thought I had lost my mind, though by that time they knew you weren’t exactly sane yourself: I brought those sweet American hippies back to your

5

ALFRED BIRNEY

place one day and you took them for a couple of floozies, sent them packing without a second glance. You turfed out an American-Dutch friend of mine too. And all because he was black, racist loon that you are. That same friend later told me you were a madman, just like Ma had always said. I didn’t want to believe it then. I’m afraid I still don’t.

And so you took me out that Tuesday night. Who goes to the pictures on a Tuesday? We caught a bus in Voorschoten, got off at Staatsspoor station and walked to the Odeon on Herengracht. They were showing an American action flick: five death-row inmates offered one last chance at freedom if they rescued some military boffin from the clutches of the Vietnamese. Raising hell as they roared through the jungles of Vietnam on their motorbikes, the convicts were picked off one by one but against all odds the scientist was saved. You stared spellbound at the screen; you and a handful of other simple souls dotted about the cinema. You were forty-five, give or take – an age for contemplation, for self-reflection – yet you sat there like a little kid next to a son who loathed motorbikes, who squeezed his eyes shut when one of the heroes was shot to pieces, snared by a vine, strung upside down, impaled on a bed of bamboo spears. Those Viet Cong and their booby traps! Grisly tactics aside, I secretly cheered them on. To me they were the underdogs, my blood brothers on the silver screen. You rooted for the gung-ho Yanks. Unease was all I felt sitting there next to you; perhaps you felt uneasy next to me. On the bus back to Voorschoten not a word passed between us. I suppose you were trying to coax me out of my shell, stuck on my own in that suicide flat of yours listening to the radio all day while you were out at work, no clue what to do with my life. Puccini Crescent: what a grim corner of the commuter belt that was, a horseshoe of four-storey flats in a satellite town wedged between Leiden and The Hague, home to lonely men and women too timid to say hello when they passed on the street, office drones who spent their evenings watching TV alone.

Guess what, Pa, life in Holland hasn’t changed. Thanks for settling in this cold country where life is good as long as you have no need of warmth. Wise of you to live out your days in Spain. Or is

6

THE INTERPRETER FROM JAVA

it just cowardice? Fear we might come over and do you in? It’s still three against one, pal. Only we’re bigger now, stronger, a far cry from the little lads we once were. I’m a halfway decent jujitsuka. Phil is a killing machine with a handful of black belts. Arti is a streetfighter. Give it your best shot, old man. During your last year in Holland – South Haarlem, another desperate hole – I heard you slept with an axe under your bed, scared Arti would turn up one night and punch your lights out. I heard that from Ma and she heard it from one of your daughters, Mil most likely, your favourite, named after some old flame, an Aussie girl you picked up in your Java days. You can thank your lucky stars I only took up martial arts late in life. I’m not the killing kind, Pa, but even now you deserve a one-way trip to Intensive Care courtesy of my own bare hands. Twenty-five years of groaning under your iron fist, your paranoia, followed by twenty-five years writing it all down in an unfinished book might seem like a balance of sorts, but I’d rather have spent forty-nine years living life to the full and one year behind bars for inflicting grievous bodily harm on a former marine. No such luck: I am a noble being, a pen-wielding samurai who walks a gentler path, who strums his guitar and makes people smile. I have been cursed with an inquiring nature, naive enough to think I can fathom the inner workings of an unhinged fascist. Perhaps you deserve that too, if only because the pages that comprise your monument may yet expose Dutch history for the lie that it is. *

The movie is over. The director chisels his heroes’ faces in the clouds.

THE END

(complete with bombastic crescendo)

In your boyhood dreams, you must have pictured your own face up there. Forget it, Pa. The war-movie heaven those heroes fly off to only ever existed in Hollywood.

Starchild Book Two: The City of Souls #Book Review #repost

Where to start this review. Obviously read the first book (It will help 😂)

The book starts straight after the first book had finished. So you are thrown straight back into action. Which is great as this means there is know waiting around. Mai is back on her mission with her trustees Long and Akra (which is a cool name)

They find themselves to the forest lands which is home to the soul bankers. Mai and Akra learn some new skills but Mai’s brother Long seems to be growing more distant from his sister and friends.

Long begins hearing voices calling him into the forest. Long being Long goes and investigates who this mystery voice is. He travels deeper in to the forest and finds who this mystery person is. This person knows exactly what to say to Long to get him to do her bidding. She even gives him a pebble which he swallows and is promised powers beyond his wildest dreams. All he has to do is find Silver shade.

 

 

Starchild Book Two: The City of Souls

A gripping forest adventure full of mystery, betrayal and courage.

When a new sealer boy joins the journey, Mai, Long, and Akra are confident their challenges have come to an end. But as they embark on their journey once again, they find themselves having to escape from the clutches of dangerous enemies.

They travel to Naroan – the forest lands of the soulbankers, the regulators of life and death. Against the backdrop of rules and suspicion, the children are challenged with unravelling the mystery of the Silvershade, which has been calling to Akra from the moment he arrived in the forest city. But Long is tormented by his doubts – he must face a deadly power from the Underworld before it takes him into the darkness.

Will the dark pebble take Long along a road of no return? Or will his friends find a way to help him?

Purchase Links

https://www.odysseybooks.com.au/titles/9781922200129/

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GPRK289

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GPRK289

Author Bio – Vacen Taylor is a children’s author with a portfolio of screenwriting and stage play achievements. A selection of her poetry has been published in Art and Literature Journals. One of her plays was selected to be part of the Playwrights Program 2017 and then directed and performed as a performance reading at HOTA (previously the Gold Coast Arts Centre).

Her feature film script received a special commendation for Best Unproduced Screenplay titled Grandfathers at the British Independent Film Festival in 2018. The logline can be found under Special Commendations for Unproduced Screenplays here.

Her TV pilot for a series (teleplay) was selected as a semi-finalist in the Hollywood Just4Shorts Film and Screenplay Competition in Los Angeles, CA. This pilot was listed in the top 50 for the Cinequest Screenwriting Competition in 2018.

She presented the first mental health panel at OZ Comic-Con in 2017. This panel was a fantastic opportunity to discuss openly and honestly about artists and their mental health to help support wellbeing, foster connectivity and provide a culture of support.

In 2018 she presented the panel, ‘An artist’s guide to creative happiness: How to strengthen your creative performance’ at Oz Comic-Con in Brisbane. Her panels are extraordinary opportunities to explore ideas with people who are currently working in the industry. She aims to discuss subjects like individualism, the community, mental health, wellbeing, happiness, creativity, co-creating and self-awareness which often leads to interesting questions from the audience.

What else does she do? Vacen is also a creative workshop facilitator and proficient in, teaching, speaking and concept creation. Guest Speaker. Workshop Presenter. Creative Panel Facilitator. Mentor. Support Worker. Counsellor. Social Welfare Advocate.

 

Social Media Links –

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Vacen-Taylor-Author-233611656699562/

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/vacentaylor/

Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com.au/vacentaylor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/VacenTaylor

Giveaway to Win all 4 books of the Starchild Series by Vacen Taylor (Open INT)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/33c69494320/?

 

Starchild - Giveaway PrizeThe City of SoulsThe City of Souls CoverThe City of Souls Full Tour BannerThe City of SoulsVacen Passport Size 2

 

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